Form synthesis at early embodiment design stage: A computer-aided method to model preliminary embodiment designs

Third party funded individual grant


Project Details

Project leader:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sandro Wartzack


Contributing FAU Organisations:
Lehrstuhl für Konstruktionstechnik

Funding source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)
Acronym: GestEn
Start date: 01/02/2019
End date: 31/01/2021


Abstract (technical / expert description):

Different aspects of the use of parametric 3D CAD software, e. g.
"circumscribed thinking" or the WIMP user interface, limit the
creativity of the product developer and consequently the scope of the
preliminary embodiment designs. Thus the software does not represent an
optimal tool for form synthesis at early embodiment design stage.
Simultaneously the early, computer-aided creation of preliminary
embodiment designs incorporates enormous potential to improve the
product quality. In terms of frontloading, the product as well as its
functionality and quality could be ensured earlier in the design
process, if the geometry information - in contrast to hand-drawn
sketches - would be available in a computational form. Based on this
consideration the research question of this project emerges: How must a
computational method look like to support the product developer in
creative form design at early embodiment design stage?A frequently used
approach is the utilisation of natural forms of interaction in Virtual
Reality. Although research with the objective to integrate CAD and VR –
especially in context of freeform creation – exists, no attention is
paid to the interaction through natural, tacit knowledge based user
interfaces as well as to form design of preliminary embodiment designs
starting with effective areas and effective bodies. Therefore the
central objective of the two-year research project is to provide a
universal method that allows an earlier computer support of the product
developer in the creative preparation of form design studies and
preliminary embodiment designs through a functional procedure in terms
of VDI 2221 Step 5. The method contains a modular kit with form design
elements. These elements serve as basic building blocks for the creation
of preliminary embodiment designs. For the interaction with virtual
models, an existing user interface for natural finger interaction is
used. This was implemented in the research demonstration system "i 3 VR"
at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. In order to achieve
the central objective, four sub-objectives are necessary. Thereof the
content of the four work packages is derived. The structure of the work
programme and work packages follows the Design Research Methodology
(DRM) from Blessing and Chakrabarti.The expected scientific finding
resulting from this research project is evidence about the suitability
of a computer-aided method for form synthesis of preliminary embodiment
designs using natural forms of interaction and stereoscopic
visualisation.


Last updated on 2019-12-06 at 13:15